The end of June and beginning of July can be a great time to evaluate your marketing plan and your results so far this year. You can quickly answer a few questions, and consider any changes for the remainder of the year.
You can do a mini marketing audit by asking yourself a few key questions. You can likely get through these during your next coffee break!
Did you start the year with a marketing strategy?
Did you even have a strategy at the beginning of the year? If not, it’s never too late to start – and you can start with a free marketing strategy session for your business, or access our client-favorite 3 by 3 Marketing Matrix online training which will teach you our easy process to develop a quick and effective marketing plan.
You want to know what direction, and strategies, you should focus your time and efforts on, but you should also keep some flexibility because things do change and you may want to be able to include new marketing strategies as the year progresses.
Having your marketing plan written in some form will help you keep your efforts on track and focus on activities that you believe will help your business achieve some key performance indicators – whatever you choose those to be for your business.
Your marketing budget
How much have you invested in all of your marketing activities so far this year?
Like any good business person, even if you don’t know exactly how much you have spent on marketing so far this year, you should at least be able to pull up a report that outlines this information. You should include hard costs (money you pay to vendors – ie printers, advertising, etc) but also consider how much of your own time you have invested in performing marketing activities and give a dollar amount to that time. Time is money!
How have your actual marketing expenses compared to the budget you included in your marketing plan?
Less tangible marketing benefits
Ask yourself what have we produced, and what value have we created so far this year?
This could be hard figures such as lead generation, but don’t limit your results to only this. Some other marketing benefits may be less tangible, and you will want to consider things such as brand building, awareness, and having future prospects in your sales funnel.
Some types of funnels can be a very long process, such as those for real estate, for example. A prospect may become aware of you today, but not buy or sell their home for a year. You want to make sure your key performance indicators are tracking more than only leads generated so you can gain an understanding of how many people may be in your long-term sales pipeline. This is also why you never stop marketing to them.
Compare activities to your initial marketing plan
What type of activities did you include in your initial marketing plan? How are you tracking your efforts and results according to the plan? Most of your answers will center around budget and return on investment, but be sure to pay attention to other areas as well.
Have you even been tracking? If not, now is a good time to pull some statistics that will help you determine where you have been focusing your efforts.
What marketing is working well?
What’s working well? You should have at least a basic idea of which pieces of your overall marketing plan are working and what is not. Is there a particular communication channel that is working best? If so, what is your competition doing on that channel?
Based upon the answers above, what have you learned?
How does it look like you are going to end the year? Will you be on target to hit your objectives and key performance indicators?
How will you take what you have learned and revise your strategy for the rest of the year, if required?
You may not need to revise your marketing budget at this point, but asking yourself a couple of additional questions can help you explore new opportunities and fine-tune your marketing strategy.
If you found more money to put towards your marketing budget, how would you spend it, and what would the expected return be?
If you needed to reduce your marketing budget by 10 percent, what would you cut, and what would the implications be?
Want to discuss your answers and how they impact your business? Grab a free marketing strategy call by booking time on my calendar.
Vicky is the CEO and Chief Creative Strategist of Vicky Wu Marketing. She draws from 30 years of experience at the CMO level, the CEO level, marketing for Fortune 500 companies and multi-million and multi-billion-dollar organizations, PLUS strategies learned helping startups and nonprofits with limited budgets … now focusing on providing SMBs with effective and efficient marketing strategies – giving them access to the same level of expertise as the really big guys with deep pockets, that they may not otherwise be able to access.